Browsing 'cinema' News

Woman Woman/Facebook

Wonder Woman

The popular blockbuster superhero film Wonder Woman has been banned in Qatar, according to local cinema companies.

The movie received critical acclaim at the box office following its recent release. But it has also drawn controversy because it is headlined by an Israeli woman.

Earlier this month, Lebanon and Tunisia banned the movie. However, it is currently playing in the UAE, Oman and Bahrain (though the Gulf dispute may make it harder for fans to travel to see the film).

Wonder Woman was initially scheduled to premiere in Doha yesterday.

But it is no longer appearing on any Qatar cinema websites, including at theaters in Villaggio, City Center or Lagoona malls.

When asked whether it was banned, Vox answered affirmatively on Twitter:

Novo Cinemas has also confirmed to movie-goers that the film will not be screened in Qatar.

Support for Israeli army

The movie’s superhero is played by Gal Gadot. Her compulsory Israeli army service coincided with the 2006 Israeli war in Lebanon.

Gadot also expressed support for the IDF during the 2014 Gaza conflict. 

On Facebook, she sent her “love and prayers to my fellow Israeli citizens. Especially to all the boys and girls who are risking their lives protecting my country against the horrific acts conducted by Hamas, who are hiding like cowards behind women and children…We shall overcome!!!”

Jan Slangen/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Gadot’s support of Israel has caused many people around the world to wrestle with whether to support the film.

In an opinion piece for Al Jazeera, one US-based professor said he himself wondered what all the fuss was about until he actually saw the movie.

After watching it, he concluded:

“If you are utterly enjoying this particular Wonder Woman as a role model for your daughters in a theater near you and could not care less about a young Palestinian girl mourning her family in Gaza whom the woman portraying your superhero helped kill, then all the power to you.

You need not bother to know that in this film Gal Gadot does not just personify Wonder Woman, but alas Wonder Woman disappears into Gal Gadot.”

Banned movies

This is the third movie Qatar has banned in the past year and a half. In October, authorities told cinemas not to run psychological thriller The Girl on the Train.

Trailers for the film show sex scenes, and the story revolves around the main character’s drinking problem.

Universal Pictures

The Girl on the Train

And in January 2016, The Danish Girl was withdrawn from cinema listings after residents complained on social media about its “moral depravity.”

The British film portrayed the life of a transgender Danish artist in the 1920s who undergoes one of the world’s first known sex reassignment surgeries.

Thoughts?

Lagoona Mall/Facebook

Flik Cinema at Lagoona Mall

A new four-screen cinema opened its doors to the public at Lagoona Mall over the weekend.

The launch marks the entrance of the Flik Cinema chain into Qatar.

The theater was originally supposed to open last fall, and it is unclear why this was postponed.

Flik Cinemas

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

At the time, Flik Cinemas described the Lagoona location as “the first platinum and gold class theater multiplex in the GCC.”

The seats have leather recliners with small tables, similar to the “seven-star” experience offered at one of the theaters inside Novo Cinemas on the Pearl-Qatar.

Movie goers in platinum class can order snacks and drinks via a personal iPad and have them delivered to their seats.

More cinemas

Flik is also planning to open movie theaters in two other Qatar malls within the next year.

Both are Al Mana Group projects, and the cinema chain is also part of the same group.

One Flik theater will be located at Al Mirqab Mall off of Nasser St., while the other will be in Doha Mall in Abu Hamour.

Lesley Walker / Doha News

Mirqab Mall

Both will have eight screens and seat 1,000 and 1,400 movie-goers, respectively. All will show a combination of Hollywood, Bollywood and Arabic-language films.

The malls are expected to open sometime this year, adding even more shopping and viewing options to the Qatar market.

Meanwhile, at least seven other malls are expected to open in the country within the next few years.

Have you tried out the new cinema yet? Thoughts?

QFC/Twitter

Rendering of redeveloped Musheireb district

Qatar residents living near the Msheireb Downtown Doha development will see a new multi-screen cinema open in the neighborhood this year, Novo Cinemas has announced.

The cinema will include regular and “7-Star” screens that have VIP services and reclining seats. It will be located inside Msheireb’s The Galleria shopping center.

That mall is still under construction, but when completed will have 100 stores. It will include an Al Meera supermarket and a children’s entertainment zone, Msheireb said earlier this month.

Msheireb/Facebook

Msheireb Galleria mall

Novo already operates at the Pearl-Qatar, 01 Mall in Abu Hamour and recently opened a 19-screen complex at the new Mall of Qatar.

In a statement, Novo CEO Debbie Stanford-Kristiansen said:

“We look forward to developing a cultural and innovative cinema space for this revolutionary neighborhood with the help of Msheireb Properties.”

Msheireb’s progress

The QR20 billion Msheireb project is still under construction and has seen some delays.

When finished, it aims to combines commercial, residential, retail and cultural entities in one development.

Msheireb Properties

Rendering of redeveloped Msheireb Doha Downtown

Last fall, Msheireb Properties CEO Abdullah Hassan al-Mehshadi said work on the first three phases of the project is “80 percent complete.”

He added that the company is working with Qatar Rail on the fourth and final phase.

So far, the development houses a museum that opened last year and one school – Qatar Academy Msheireb.

A mosque is also occasionally open to the public during Eid prayers.

Thoughts?

Note: This article has been updated to reflect that the number of screens has not yet been determined.